GREENFIELD — While prayer is rare before government meetings in Hancock County, some local officials are siding with state and federal leaders in hoping the rules that restrict invocations that endorse a specific religion are relaxed.
As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to weigh in on a New York town’s practice to allow Christian-based prayers before council meetings, Indiana is joining a long list of states wanting the rules on prayer loosened. Previously, the Supreme Court has ruled that prayer can be said if it doesn’t endorse a particular religion.
The Indiana attorney general’s office earlier this month signed on to a friend-of-the-court brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to exempt public bodies from screening opening prayers for sectarian references. Twenty-one other states have done the same.
If the rules are relaxed, it may have little effect here. That’s because in Hancock County, the Greenfield City Council is the only public board that holds prayer before meetings.